Cape Porpoise Pier & Harbor

Cape Porpoise Harbor
Goat Island Lighthouse
Just about five miles from the center of Kennebunkport there's a charming small village called Cape Porpoise with a very rich history.  It was the original English settlement of the town & was named by explorer Captain John Hill in his 1614 exploration of New England. Local history says that the town was first incorporated as "Cape Porpus" under the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1653 & during King William's War in 1689, the Native Americans forced the settlers off the mainland onto Stage Island until they were rescue by the English.  The town was resettled once again by 1720. On August 8, 1782 the English sixteen gun brig Meriam & the schooner, Hammond, were said to enter the harbor & attempted to take a schooner & sloop as prizes. The English took the schooner but ran the sloop around. The town's militia had assembled & fired shore cannons & muskets at the English. The English burned the sloop & then return the brig but couldn't escape from the harbor because of a growing southern breeze. Reports said that over the next couple of hours, the English towed & wrapped the brig out of the harbor under musket & cannon fire even as they tried to return gun fire. In total, more than twenty men were killed during the battle, including Captain James Burnham who was the town leader & the only American casualty.  There's definitely a rich history of the harbor that most people do not know of even today.  Today, the harbor of Cape Porpoise is seen as a local fishing community, mainly with lobsters & numerous lobster boats & dingy's that line the harbor.
Cape Porpoise Chowder House
The Working Pier
View of Cape Porpoise Harbor
There are some pretty cool things to do while visiting the Pier tho. It's always enjoyable to walk along it looking out at the boats in the harbor. In the distance is Goat Island, you may know the name from the Shipyard Beer called "Goat Island Light", yes, Shipyard Brewing did get its start in Kennebunkport at Federal Jacks Brew Pub, in case you were wondering about the history fact. Well, Goat Island is home to the famous Goat Island Lighthouse an important navigational signal for boats coming in & out of the harbor. The island is open to the public & The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust does offer tours & events.  The lighthouse in 1990 became the last automated lighthouse in Maine. There are numerous islands to go kayaking & camping on, Stage & Vaughn Islands tend to be popular with the camping actives.  Also, the mud flats are a great place to go clamming. However, word to the wise, if you do choose to take part in the activity please make sure you go to the Town Hall of Kennebunkport & get yourself a clam license. I do know for a fact that they only issue a very limited number of them out for the season, so best to get one early if you plan to take part of the fun in the mud flats. Just be careful of "red tide" tho. Oh, for food lovers there are a couple of restaurants to definitely check out. For the "no frills, in the rough" dinning experience than the seasonal Cape Porpise Chowder Houes & Lobster Company is the place to go.  It's a  family owned & operated restaurant for over forty years. You can dine on the picnic table over looking the harbor or inside as well. They offer clam chowder, numerous fried seafood platters & lobster to name some of the few items for purchase. The other find is the more upscale, Pier 77 Restaurant/The Ramp Bar & Grill which is opened all year long & has an extensive menu.  While you are dinning at The Ramp you may order off the regular menu from Pier 77 located upstairs. They offer excellent fish 'n chips, soups, onion stings with a smoky ketchup that are heavenly, salads to name a few of the items from the well crafted menu.  Overall a visit to Kennebunkport wouldn't be complete without experiencing the Pier of Cape Porpoise. You never know what kind of story you can capture threw the lens or experience. It's a great place to experience part of the local charm that makes Kennebunkport a place to visit for many holiday seekers.

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